The best bread I have ever made
Before I take a deep dive into this best bread I have ever made, which can be turned into 1 big loaf, 2 smaller loafs, rolls or 1 small loaf and some rolls let me just say this: Sourdough, I love you. Along with seeds and kernels and good quality flour. The flavour combined with moist and crumb just worked this time around.
To be honest I owe my baking “skills” ?which aren’t really skills just a hobby? to @Cathrine Brandt and @Meyers baking book. Without these two reference-points I would have never dared think I could bake tasty bread (or any bread) of a certain quality. I am still developing my skillset and my equipment. Small but important gadgets can make a massive difference!(!) And I am still expanding. Additionally, I learn more about flour-types, grains, kernels, seeds every time I bake. Interesting facts like the amount of protein in flour has a massive impact on bread, which I had zero clue about. The baking world is a funny one, and I dig it.
The bread itself
This bread is two-day adventure (like most of my breads). 99% of the work goes on day 1. I start by freshening up my sourdough approximately 8 hours before using it. In this particular case I started at 9 AM and left it on the counter until 5 PM. By 6.30 PM it was in the fridge for over night raising. On day 2 I took it out the fridge at 8 AM and had my breakfast roll at 10 AM… gosh it was good! My husband normally does not like any kernels or seeds in his bread, but his exact words were: “This is the best bread I have ever tasted (homemade).” The loaf was also approved by our friend and her 3-year old daughter, whom ate 3 slices 🙂
- 1/2 DL ‘old’ sourdough
- 1 DL water
- 1/2 DL wholewheat flour (12+ g protein pr. 100 g)
- 1/2 DL wheat flour (12+ g protein pr. 100 g)
Kernels and Seeds
- 100 g wheat kernels boiled for 40 minutes, drain and cooled after (tip: Do this when freshening up your sourdough since they will be cooled by baking time)
- 50 g sunflower seeds soaked in cool water for 1 hour and drained (do this just before baking)
- Oats for drizzling on top (decoration)
The bread itself
- 5 1/2 DL cold water
- 1/2 DL young sourdough
- 5 g fresh yeast (still too scared to leave it out)
- 50 g wholewheat flour (remember protein check)
- 100 g Öland wheat flour (this type of flour has ~14g protein/100g)
- 450 g wheat flour
- 15 g of salt
- Freshen up your sourdough 8-10 hours before using it. This is done by mixing above mentioned ingredients – ‘Young sourdough’ – and leave it in an open container on your kitchen counter. Once it bobbles and you see activity it is good to go. Tip: If your sourdough floats when put into water it is good.
- Prepare kernels
- Prepare seeds
- As your sourdough is ready, you should get all the ingredients out, weighed off a ready for baking
- Add cold water and sourdough to your kneading bowl (I use my Ankarsrum as spoken of here) and stir
- Add yeast and stir until dissolved entirely
- Now, add flours and salt and turn on your machine at the lowest speed to “collect” the dough (this should take ~1 minute)
- Turn up the speed on your machine to max, and leave it kneading util your dough gathers around the hook or kneading-middle.. It takes my dough around 8-9 minutes (the dough will “let go” of the edges of the bowl). Tip: Do a gluten test here to check entirely for readiness.
- Up next, add your sunflower seeds and kernels to the dough and mix for no more than 10-15 seconds on the lowest speed
- Add the dough to an airtight container, where you have added a little olive oil for moist, and leave it on the kitchen counter for 1 hour
- After the hour put it in the fridge over night (lip on and sealed)
- 10-12 hours after refrigerating, take your dough out the fridge 1-2 hours before baking
- Turn on your oven to 250° Celsius over and under heat 30 minutes before baking. Tip: If you have a pizza stone or baking pan leave it in the oven to heat up with it to place your bread directly on it.
- Spread flour on your kitchen counter and place dough gently on it
- Shape your bread: I would recommend making 1 big loaf, 2 smaller loafs, 1 loaf and some rolls or rolls only – your baking time will vary for all
- For shaping I use this tool
- Drizzle with oats (if you want), and bake your bread:
- Big loaf: Approximately 40 minutes (5 at 250° Celsius, remainder at 220-230° Celsius)
- Smaller loafs: Approximately 30 minutes (5 at 250° Celsius, remainder at 220-230° Celsius)
- Rolls: Approximately 17 minutes (5 at 250° Celsius, remainder at 220-230° Celsius)
- Check if your bread is ready by tapping it on top. It should sound hollow and have a neat dark brown colour.
- Put your bread on a grill to cool off before eating
The loafs stay fresh for 2-3 days if kept in a paper or plastic bag with small air holes, but I always prefer bread on day 1 or 2. Actually… I prefer it fresh out the oven and still warm! The rolls freeze very well and can thus last longer. I really hope you want to try out this recipe, as it is in its entirety delicious.
Beach sunset 5 minutes from our house: Imagine a cold walk here followed by fresh bread with butter and hot cocoa!
Happy January 31st everyone –